Grassroots Tennis: Play It Forward!
CTAs, public parks, schools and NJTLs are on the front lines when it comes to growing our sport in communities.
Intermountain: Women’s Doubles Event Supports Safehouse
For 30 years, abused women and children have come to Crossroads Safehouse in Fort Collins, Colo., where they have found safety, shelter and the personal assistance and resources they need to help build their lives.
And virtually every year since Crossroads opened its doors in 1980, the Ladies Day Doubles event has been benefitting the shelter. It started with a group of friends from the Fort Collins Tennis Association getting together to help raise money and awareness for the cause. Since then, the event has blossomed into a can’t-miss date on every Northern Colorado player’s tennis calendar.
Proceeds from the event, held each June, are donated to the Safehouse. Since 2009, contributions have increased tenfold. In 2016, total donations and sponsorships for the Ladies Day Doubles tournament topped $14,000. Participants also bring supplies that are needed on a daily basis at the facility, as large tables are piled high with necessities.
The Colorado State University women’s tennis team and retiring coach Jon Messick once again hosted the event, which included 124 women in the draw and has become one of the biggest — and most important — tennis socials in the FCTA section.
— Kurt Desautels/Colorado Tennis
Missouri Valley: North KC Schools Go All-In for Tennis
The North Kansas City School District in Missouri is embracing its mission of getting tennis into its elementary schools. After working with USTA Heart of America Schools Tennis Organizer Carrie Hellerich, the district made 22 of its elementary schools USTA organizational members to make sure they would receive the necessary support needed to get tennis into the curriculum. But the efforts didn’t stop there.
Of the 22 schools, 19 successfully applied for USTA Missouri Valley Serving Up Tennis Grants and were awarded $1,000 each. USTA Missouri Valley staff, as well as an area facility manager, also assisted the district by hosting a school tennis workshop for 29 teachers in October (pictured above). The schools also ordered tennis equipment packages to use in physical education classes.
“My elementary PE budget is pretty tight,” says Jason Fowler, phys-ed and health coordinator for the district. “The grants make it a doable thing for our district.”
— Andrew Robinson
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